(HealthDay News) — For patients with multiple myeloma (MM) treated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), long-term outcomes have improved steadily, according to a study published in the Jan. 28 issue of Blood Advances.
Katherine K. Nishimura, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Cancer Research and Biostatistics in Seattle, and colleagues followed 4,329 patients with newly diagnosed MM treated with ASCT to examine improvements in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).
The researchers identified steady improvements in OS; compared with patients treated in 1997 or earlier, patients treated in 2014 or later had superior OS (hazard ratio, 0.35) and reduced excess risk for MM death (relative excess risk, 0.30). Intermediate survival was frequently seen for patients treated during intervening time periods, but inconsistent trends were seen in OS, PFS, and landmarked analyses. The potential for cure was supported in cure models, ranging from 6.3 to 31.3 percent depending on treatment year; across multiple periods, 10.0 to 18.6 percent of patients achieved their normal life expectancy. Some evidence was seen for decreases in early mortality within three years of diagnosis, longer complete response duration, and reductions in relapse after achieving complete response. The results differed based on age, risk group, and cytogenetic characteristics.
“We believe that this could be early evidence that functional cure may exist and that the challenge going forward will be to increase the percentage of patients achieving long-term survival,” the authors write.